Oprah shared a moving tribute to George Floyd on Friday shortly after third-degree murder charges were brought against the police officer charged with his murder in Minneapolis Monday.
“I’ve been trying to process what can be said or heard in this moment,” she wrote in statement posted to Twitter. “I haven’t been able to get the image of the knee on his neck out of my head. It’s there every morning when I rise and when I go through the ordinary duties of the day. While pouring coffee, lacing my shoes, and taking a breath, I think: He doesn’t get to do this,” she of Floyd’s death which was captured on camera.
“And now the video from the other angle of two other officers pinning him down,” she continued. “My heart sinks even deeper.”
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) May 29, 2020
She praised Floyd based on not only the good things said about him by those who loved him in life, but on the impact his death has had on the country and national conversation around police brutality and racism.
“We speak your name,” she said. But this time we will not let your name be just a hashtag. Your spirit is lifted by the cries of all of us who call for justice in your name!”
Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, Hennepin County D.A. Mike Freeman announced on Friday.
“This is by far the fastest we’ve ever charged a police officer,” Freeman said. “There may be subsequent charges later.”
Floyd died Monday after Chauvin, a white officer, choked him with his knee for several minutes, even as Floyd repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.” A bystander captured the incident on camera, which quickly circulated on social media and led to protests across the country that have continued since Wednesday.